#Cows – Krishna’s favorite companions
Below are the vedic quotes from “Glories of Mother Cow” website.
When the cows wander onto the mountainsides and Krishna calls out to them with the sound of His flute, the trees and creepers in the forest respond by becoming so luxuriant with fruits and flowers that they seem to be manifesting Lord Vishnu within their hearts.
(Sri Priti-sandarbha Anuccheda 396, Srila Jiva Goswami, translated by Kusakratha dasa.)
The beautiful cows and bulls are of various checkered colors—red, black, green, yellow, ash, etc. And because of their colors and healthy smiling features, the atmosphere is enlivening.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.2.29, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1972-1977.)
One cowherd man said, “Krishna! The expert cowherds fail to milk the cows and the calves cannot drink even a drop of their mother’s milk, being very morose. The cows are looking down the road for You to come, they are waiting, licking their calves, filling all directions with their mooing, unable to tolerate another moment without You.”
(Sri Krishna-bhavanamrta, Chapter 3, Trans. Sri Advaita dasa. Vrindavan: Rasbihari Lal and Sons, 2000.)
Bowing His head and with a smile mixed with tears, Krishna said, “O My mothers, what can I do? The cows do not know what to do. Without Me they will not even eat a mouthful of grass.”
(Gopala-Campu, First Champi, Text 69, Srila Jiva Goswami, translated by Kusakratha dasa.)
O moon faced One, the other cows became very anxious when they saw that Krishna had finished milking one of them. Look! Krishna‘s hips and thighs are marked with drops of milk. The cows and calves drink the nectar of His fresh, youthful luster with tear-filled eyes, keeping their necks bent.
(Sri Krishna-bhavanamrta, Chapter 3, Trans. Sri Advaita dasa . Vrindavan, Rasbihari Lal and Sons, 2000.)
Krishna counts His cows on a mala of gems. For each of the four colours of cows—white, red, black and yellow—there are twenty-five subdivisions, making a total of one hundred colours. Such qualities as being coloured like sandalwood-pulp tilaka [speckled] or having a head shaped like a mridanga drum create eight further groups.
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.35.18-21 & purport.)
To count these 108 groups of cows, distinguished by colour and form, Krishna uses a mala of 108 jewel-beads. Thus when Krishna calls out, “Hey Dhavali [the name of a white cow],” a whole group of white cows come forward, and when He calls “Hamsi, Candani, Ganga, Mukta” and so on, the twenty-four other groups of white cows come.
The reddish cows are called Aruni, Kunkuma, Sarasvati, etc.; the blackish ones are called Syamala, Dhumala, Yamuna, etc.; and the yellowish ones are called Pita, Pinlgala, Haritalika, etc. Those in the group with tilaka marks on their foreheads are called Citrita, Citra-tilaka, Dirgha–tilaka and Tiryak-tilaka.
There are groups known as Mrdanga-mukhi [mridanga-head], Simha-mukhi [lion-head] and so on. Thus being called by name, the cows are coming forward, and Krishna, thinking that when it is time to bring them back from the forest none should be forgotten, is counting them on His jewel-beads.
Deluded by their divine love, each cow thought: “Krishna is walking behind us with His friends.” Although they moved slowly because of their full udders and their love for Krishna, the cows moved quickly when Krishna called them. Their faces, tails and ears were raised, they kept bunches of grass in their mouths, and the blankets on their necks rocked when they ran towards Govinda.
(Sri Govinda-lilamrta, Chapter 19, Text 25-30, Trans. Sri Advaita dasa. Vrindavan: Rasbihari Lal and Sons, 2000.)
The cows, headed by Ganga, always drank the nectar of Krishna‘s beauty with their eyes and smelled the fragrance of His beauty with their noses. It was as if they embraced Govinda with their bodies and licked Him with their tongues. Mooing in great joy they surrounded Him.
Overwhelmed by affection, Keshava [Krishna] scratched and caressed His cows with His hand and said: “Now You are satisfied with grazing, the day in Vraja is almost over. Oh Mothers! Your calves are suffering from hunger! Let’s go back to Vraja!”
The cows had bells with different shapes and sounds around their necks and feet. Headed by their group leaders, they went back to Vraja. The cows walked on Krishna‘s right side and the buffaloes on His left side. The residents of heaven mistook the cows to be the white Ganga and the buffaloes to be the black Yamuna.
(Ibid., Text 31-34)
Who will not be happy to see Krishna slowly walking behind His cows, showering them with nectarean flute songs, His restless locks of hair turned grey by the dust thrown up by their hooves?
(Ibid., Text 31-34)
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, the cows and calves surrounded Him and began licking His body. All the cows relished the nectarean taste of His body and cried in ecstatic love. Seeing this, Lord Caitanya said, “Vraja has inconceivable qualities. The residents of Vraja all have natural devotion to Krishna.”
(Sri Advaita Prakasa, Chapter 16, by Sri Isana Nagara, trans. by Subhag Swami.)
Lord Caitanya then touched the cows with His lotus hand, and the cows all began to dance almost like gopis. Seeing the dancing of the cows, He was inundated with love. He chuckled and danced like an intoxicated person.
Anyone who meditates on Lord Krishna‘s birth, His protecting the cows, His singing charming songs with the gopas, and His other pastimes, will find himself overcome with bliss and love.
(Gopala-Campu, First Champi, Text 97, Srila Jiva Goswami, translated by Kusakratha dasa.)
Compiled by Damaghosa dasa (Seattle, USA)
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